By Marsha M Brown
This weekend commemorates a very special day of remembrance. It honors all of the beautiful women in this world who have experienced the blessing of motherhood…not only through childbirth but through loving a child no matter its natural origin, physical ability or disability or when it was born into the heart of its biological or adoptive mother’s heart.
A genuine salute is due to each and every lady…each…and every lady who has loved, cared for or raised a child…whether their own…or initially somebody else’s. Women who have experienced the literal ‘labor of love’ birthing their own child; women who have heard too often they couldn’t conceive yet found a place of welcome inside their heart to love and adore someone else’s gift of life; women who have embraced children of all ages with physical, mental and emotional challenges; women who have taken in, raised up or mentored neighborhood kids who needed a ‘Mom’ who had time to listen or offer sound advice; women who have loved without reservation the child entrusted to them (through whatever means) to teach, guide, forgive, nurture and love unconditionally a child…God bless you.
For all of the women who serve our country, God bless and be with you. Thank you for your courage, dedication and willingness to ‘mother’ us all with your sacrifice and your service. You are unique in every way and you are very special warriors; you put yourself aside to move others ahead; you strive and successfully achieve excellence; you’re brave; you’re strong and you’re mighty. How you do what you do is a mystery…what you do for us is a blessing. On this special holiday, ‘Mother’s Day’, we’ll think of you and honor you. We know your job in the fields, choppers, ships and subs are challenging, uncomfortable and tiresome; we know your hearts are heavy many times when your tears may not show; we know you love your spouse and miss that special embrace; we know you long to hear the sweet rhythmic sound of your babies breathe upon your chest and to see their sleeping peaceful face; we know that you’re a mother, sister, girlfriend and daughter to many who love you. Your own children on this Mother’s Day and our children and grandchildren too are safe and secure because of you. Please don’t ever assume that we take you for granted. Tears that fall on your dusty face and parched lips are our tears too. Thank you – courageous women. You have served our nation well in ways too numerous to count both stateside and abroad. You too are our heroes and we are proud of you all. You are our nations Mother.
When I was 26 years old my sister and I heard the devastating news that our beautiful Mother was sick…really, really sick. It came up all of a sudden without warning and within six short months she left this world en route to Heaven. Her name was Eleanor L. Mann and she was the epitome of a model Mother. She laughed with us, cried with us and gave us a gentle push toward any goal we set to accomplish. She was inspiring, loving and kind and she went out of her way to help everyone…family, friends and people she hardly knew. Mama’s heart was pure but there were exemptions to her characteristics like animosity, prejudice and selfishness…they were feeling and actions unbeknown to her. She drooled over Daddy in his crisp, starched U. S. Coast Guard uniform and when he wore his denim blues, she was putty in his hands. Her heart of precious gold was rendered defenseless when it came to others in need…older ladies who needed a ride to the store, or a shampoo wash and set (no charge of course) were her weekend sacrificial pleasures. Having met Daddy at a U.S.O. dance in the late 40’s, they married only three weeks later and remained close for 26 years until her last breath. When she passed away, it was the first time in my life that I had ever seen Daddy cry. When I think of my Mom, I think of God’s masterpiece. I cherish the blessings of her love, her special comforts and the words she spoke that made everything else seem alright. She loved us not just when she had time…she loved us ALL of the time.
My sister (Donna) and I loved her very, very much. She taught us to love others and ourselves too. She taught us to love and honor God and whenever I see a piece of brightly colored floral material, I think of Mama in her ‘moo-moos’ on a weekend night watching her favorite Johnny Carson sipping a Coke or sometimes even a beer nibbling on her snack of choice…Fritos.
Mama wasn’t a big fan of rainy days even though she knew the nourishing drops of moisture prolonged the beauty of the bright yellow Daffodils that Daddy had planted for her along both sides of our front yard walkway. Having completed her radiation treatments, the afternoon she passed away was the day she was to begin her chemotherapy. It was raining that day, gloomy and overcast. After Daddy, my sister, my sweetie pie Billy and I had kissed her goodbye for the last time, we made our way toward the front exit of the hospital and what met us just outside the door was nice…no more rain, a clearing sky and the biggest, most beautiful rainbow we had ever seen. I knew Mama had made it home. I knew she was OK and in the presence of the Lord. I just knew it.
We all have stories about our Mothers or most of us anyway and I’m glad. I thank God for her and the pride she instilled in me. I’m thankful that she saw the love Billy had for me even before I did. I’m happy that she loved my sweetie pie with all of her heart and fused over him like he was her own. I’m thrilled that she was a doting grandmother to our Bill and Bonnie. I love her and miss her so much…but memories are a truly wonderful thing and for anyone who doesn’t have a lot of them…please make them…now. And if you and Mom don’t always see eye to eye, its OK, it happens…just love her anyway. Life is short – give love and get love back.
Newsflash! For women who have served our nation, please note that not long ago the Hampton VA Medical Center opened a first class Women’s Clinic designed to offer “gender specific” care per their website. Additional info is also available at www.hampton.va.gov or if you’d like to call them direct, please dial: 1-877-222-VETS (8387) between 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM Monday – Friday.
Also, ladies and gentlemen veterans in order to obtain your Dare County Veteran I.D. Card (which entitles you to discounts at 26 businesses in 35 Dare County locations, (some businesses have multiple sites) please bring your local Driver’s License and your DD-214 showing HONORABLE discharge with you to meet with us each Wednesday between 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM. ALSO…for current Cardholders, Wednesday is a good day to pick up your updated list of places for businesses discounts. Where? at the shared location of the American Legion Fort Raleigh Post 26 and V.F.W. Outer Banks Post 10950 at 302 W. Lake Dr., Kill Devil Hills (turn west off the by-pass at T-Tops and you’ll see the white building on the right). Remember too that the Post/Legion Hall is open now Monday – Friday from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. If you’d like to stop by, fellow veteran members will be happy to see you and it’ll give you a chance to join the respective Posts if you wish. Please note: active American Legion and V.F.W. members have gone out of their way to spruce up the Hall, add the Internet, a flat screen TV, cable and telephone and it would mean a lot to them for you to stop by & show them that what they did to improve the facility…does matter.
Newsflash! Last week we welcomed three new businesses to the Dare County Veteran I.D. Card list. You can now use your Dare County Veteran Advisory Council issued I.D. ‘Card’ at:
My Secret Garden located: 101 Sir Walter Raleigh St., Manteo where Dare County veterans will receive a discount of 10% off regular priced items;
Gulf Stream Gifts located: 2512 S. Virginia Dare Trail, Nags Head where veterans receive a 10% discount on all regular priced items and
Hallmark (Peggy’s Shop) located: 5000 S. Croatan Hwy. (Outer Banks Mall), Nags Head for 10% of regular priced items (not to be used in conjunction with other coupons). The proprietors of each of these new businesses being Annie, Marge and Sibbie are grateful for your service and eager to welcome you into their business. Please stop by and shop at these new locations that relate to your I.D. Card added just days ago to our list. Also, please understand that the discounts relate to items that are not already on sale. Thank you business owners for showing our veterans that you care! You’re awesome!
Also a special thank you to Tim Willis, a veteran himself and Dare County employee, (soon to be retired). Tim has gone out of his way on his own time to encourage area businesses to sign up and commit to offer business discounts to fellow veteran Card holders. He’s been faithful to assist our Veterans Advisory Council members in every way possible and we appreciate Tim very much! Best wishes to Tim in his future endeavors and again thank you Tim for your service to our country and from the bottom of our heart!
Until next time…hug your Mom if you still can…if not, look up…smile and be thankful that she brought you into this world to bless the rest of us! Thank each and every veteran you see this weekend and especially the women veterans who are Mothers! Be happy, be safe and be proud! And remember…loving each other despite our differences is the least we can do toward making life better. Again, to all Moms ‘Happy Mothers Day! As usual…stay tuned and God bless you all!